Possible aversion learning in the Pacific Coast wireworm


Van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S., Harding, C., Roitberg, B.D., Gries, G. (2010). Possible aversion learning in the Pacific Coast wireworm, 35(1), 19-28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3032.2009.00705.x


The effects of carbon dioxide and the induction of morbidity on aversion learning in larvae of the Pacific Coast wireworm Limonius canus LeConte (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are discussed. Wireworms preconditioned by exposing them one or four times to odour of Tefluthrin 20SC and Dividend XLRTA [Syngenta Crop Protection (Canada), Inc., Canada] during the induction of temporary morbidity subsequently contact tefluthrin-treated wheat seeds in soil bioassays for as long as naïve (i.e. not preconditioned) larvae but are repelled four to five-fold more frequently by Dividend-treated seeds in soil bioassays than naïve wireworms, suggesting that wireworms are capable of associating a novel odour (i.e. Dividend) with morbidity but require a minimum of 10-15 min subsequent contact time with treated seeds before being repelled. Wireworms preconditioned by exposure to peppermint odour during the induction of morbidity are not subsequently repelled by peppermint odour in soil bioassays, suggesting that wireworms are either not capable of aversion learning or that the presence of a CO2 source and/or a suitable host plant may override a negative cue (i.e. peppermint odour). In studies conducted in the absence of soil, a host plant and CO2 production, wireworms are repelled slightly by droplets of 1.0% but not 0.1% peppermint oil. Previous exposure to peppermint odour or contact with peppermint oil-treated filter paper during one induction of morbidity does not increase the repellency of wireworms to 1.0% peppermint oil significantly. Repellency to 1.0% peppermint oil is almost eliminated when morbidity is induced five times in the absence of peppermint odour but is restored when peppermint odour is present during preconditioning. These findings suggest that wireworm sensitivity to repellent compounds decreases when repeatedly made moribund, although the results are not sufficient to conclude that wireworms are capable of associative learning. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 The Royal Entomological Society.

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